1 Corinthians 13 is most commonly described as the “Love Chapter” in the Bible and is often read at weddings. However, it’s important to understand the type of love Paul is referring to is the Greek word, “Agape.” This type of love is loving the unlovable. “Agape love gives and loves because it wants to; it does not demand or expect repayment from the love given. The word has little to do with emotion; it has much to do with self-denial for the sake of another.” (Enduring Word commentary)
Wonderful acts of spiritual kindness and acts of spiritual gifts are great to have, but Paul was trying to open our eyes to understand they are completely empty without the motive behind them being this Apage type love; self-denying, never changing, unconditional love for the sake of another.
God is Love and when we are grafted into Him, we have access to that type of love for others. When our focus is to Love God first and love others as ourselves, then the spiritual gifts given to us for this time here on earth will be in their proper place.
The love God is and has extended to us, is best described in 1 Corinthians:13. I encourage you to take some time in prayer to search your heart to evaluate your lives and see if you are extending this type of love to others. We will be most effective in reaching the lost when we have and show Agape love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Pastor Emily Christenson